Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team has won the inaugural edition of The Ocean Race Europe, claiming victory in the final coastal race of the event this afternoon in Genoa, Italy. 

Led by skipper Yoann Richomme, the Portuguese team went into today’s final inshore race one point ahead of rivals AkzoNobel and three points clear of Sailing Poland. Continuing the tight battle we have seen since The Ocean Race Europe began three weeks ago, the fight would go right to the end, with three teams in contention to snatch overall victory today. 

With light wind predicted, it was uncertain if the race would take place at all, and hand the race win to Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team by default. However, after a delayed start, sailing did get underway, allowing the teams to race for the win on the water. 

In a frenetic start, the crew on board Racing For The Planet were the only team to cross the line cleanly and benefited from an early lead that would not come under pressure until the closing stages of the race.

All was smooth sailing for the crew until, rounding the windward mark, the team began to hoist the A4 spinnaker, but the tack came loose, slowing their progress and allowing second place Sailing Poland to gain some ground while the crew pulled the sail onboard. This led to an exciting, tactical race to the finish, where Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team would eventually take the win and claim the maximum three points, cementing their place at the top of the leaderboard, and overall victory of The Ocean Race Europe. 

Tipped early on to be the team to beat, Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team showed impressive performance right from the start. The team led for much of Leg one from Lorient, France to their home port Cascais, Portugal, before losing out in the closing stages, hitting a slow-moving front of light wind. This was to be the only race of the event that the Portuguese outfit would not win.

Taking their first win of the campaign in the Cascais coastal race as part of the Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy, the team kicked off an impressive recovery that saw the crew pick up maximum points in every race since, with back-to-back wins in the next two offshore legs, arriving in Genoa this week with a one point lead of the race. 

The team ultimately finished on 21 points, four points clear of Sailing Poland and AkzoNobel, tied in second place. 

Yoann Richomme, Skipper of the Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team said: “Job done, mission accomplished! That was a tense race. We got a good start, all the boats around us were over the line early, so we were leading right from the beginning. I think we love to make things a little hard for ourselves. We lost the kite when we started to hoist and I thought we would be passed by some boats but we managed to get it back up in the air and win the race. This is a beautiful project. I have absolutely loved it. I love the crew. I’m very proud of everything we have done together and I’m happy for the Mirpuri Foundation.” 

Paulo Mirpuri, Founder of the Mirpuri Foundation said: “This is a very proud day for us all. From the very beginning of this project, the dedication and passion of every member has been very special to witness. As a foundation, we set out to build a team that is capable of winning this race, but it is the individual skill, instinct and endurance that has led to winning in this impressive manner. Above all, a win for the Racing For The Planet crew further amplifies the reach of our message – Stop Climate Change – around the world and that is something to celebrate.”